BA Sale

Bits: 15% off BA Manchester CityFlyer CE services, Amex Plat & Boingo wifi, Aeroflot moves Gatwick service

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News in brief:

15% off BA CityFlyer flights in Business from Manchester

Until 25th January, British Airways is offering 15% off all of its weekend BA CityFlyer services from Manchester in Club Europe.

You need to use code BAMAN15 on

There is a snag of course.  These flights are all 2 x 2 seating on Embraer 190 aircraft, so you don’t get an empty middle seat in Club Europe.  You do get a decent meal, lounge access and fast track.  The two services you may want to focus on are Malaga and Mykonos which are 160 tier points return and good if you are chasing status.

These are the services, which generally start in late May and run until either the end of September or end of October.

Manchester – Dublin

  • Outbound 09.55 – Sunday
  • Inbound 22.20 –  Friday

Manchester – Florence

  • Outbound 19.25 – 23.00 Saturday
  • Inbound 17.10 – 18.45 Saturday

Manchester – Alicante

  • Outbound 05.50 – 09.40 Saturday
  • Inbound 10.25 – 12.20 Saturday

Manchester – London City

  • Outbound 19.55 – 20.55 Sundays
  • Inbound 19.40 – 20.40 Thursday

Manchester – Ibiza 

  • Outbound 21.25 – 01.15 +1  Thursday
  • Outbound 20.25 – 00.15 +1  Friday
  • Outbound 19.30 – 23.20 Saturday
  • Outbound 12.50 – 16.40 Sunday
  • Outbound 14.45 – 18.35 Sunday
  • Inbound 01.55 – 03.40 Friday
  • Inbound 00.55 – 02.40 Saturday
  • Inbound 10.45 – 12.30 Saturday
  • Inbound 00.05 – 01.50 Sundays
  • Inbound 17.25 – 19.10 Sundays

Manchester – Malaga

  • Outbound 05.40 – 09.40 Friday
  • Outbound 06.00 – 10.00 Saturday
  • Inbound 10.20 – 12.30 Friday
  • Inbound 10.45 – 12.50 Saturday

Manchester – Mykonos 

  • Outbound 14.15 – 20.15  Saturday
  • Inbound 21.00 – 23.10  Saturday

Manchester – Palma 

  • Outbound 13.15 – 17.00 Friday
  • Outbound 05.55 – 09.40 Sunday
  • Inbound 17.55 – 19.40 Friday
  • Inbound 10.20 –  12.10 Sunday

Manchester – Nice

  • Outbound 13.15 – 16.35 Saturday
  • Inbound 17.20 – 18.45 Saturday

To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at or via BA Holidays.  You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card.  Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

American Express Platinum and Boingo wi-fi

One of the least discussed benefits of the American Express Platinum card is Boingo wi-fi.  It gives you access to 1 million wi-fi hot spots globally.

My original article on Boingo from 2014 is here.

The problem with this benefit is that Amex continually publishes termination dates for the deal, but it keeps getting extended.  I actually thought it was finally dead until I saw it promoted again on the Platinum website last week.

It currently shows as ending on 31st August 2018.  I would take this with a pinch of salt, but at the very worst Amex Platinum cardholders can get themselves another seven months of worldwide roaming wi-fi.

You can register your Platinum card with Boingo at this website.

Aeroflot moves its Gatwick service to Heathrow

Russian airline Aeroflot is closing its London Gatwick service, launched in 2016.  From the start of the Summer timetable on 25th March, it will add a 5th daily Heathrow frequency instead, departing at 17.15 to Moscow Sheremetyevo.  It isn’t clear where Aeroflot obtained the Heathrow slots.

If you are heading to Moscow, note that Aeroflot often runs an Airbus A330 on its 13.30 departure from Heathrow.  This has angled lie-flat seating. British Airways often uses a long-haul plane on one daily departure although this tends to change on a regular basis – others tend to use the old ex-BMI A321 aircraft which do have lie-flat seats.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Rob, I really hate to say this, but there’s poor research here again! It really doesn’t take much to check BA’s schedule…
    ALL BA flights to Moscow have long-haul-style seats and service. The first each day (BA233) is a widebody – either 777 or 789 depending on day – with the rest all flown with the mid-haul A321s with lie-flat CW seats and full IFE in economy.

    Incidentally, for anyone heading to Japan, 3/4 days a week the Aeroflot A330 service continues on to Tokyo with no change of aircraft.

    • Ah you see … I did have a look but saw them as A321 and didn’t know they were the ex-BMI planes.

      If you have been flying this route long enough you will know that it has gone through various phases, including being a 747 route at one point and having bog-standard short-haul aircraft during the low point of the economic crisis.

      • Since I started flying BA around 2007 this was originally a Club Europe route with the usual CE product. bmi decided to compete against them and offer their midhaul product which at the time was much more comfortable than Club Europe, but it wasn’t lie flat seating. Apparently Aeroflot also offered a better product than Club Europe on this route. As it was Club Europe it was 80 TP.

        So BA decided to change it to longhaul. Started with 747, but since it was reclassified as longhaul it has never gone back. There’s been times when aircraft have been substituted for shorthaul 321 or 767 but officially the product was ‘Club World’ with 140 TP. Some other routes such as TLV have also suffered with shorthaul aircraft substitutions at times but they’ve never officially been recategorised shorthaul.

  2. OT – I recently spent 3 nights in Germany (Hilton Dresden, then independent hotel in Saxon Switzerland NP booked through, then back to the Hilton in Dresden). It occurred to me that I often do this (fly into city, stay a night in a big chain hotel, head out of the city to go enjoy Mother Nature in all her glory and hug some trees, then return to the chain hotel to clock up another stay before flying home) a strategy I frequently use to hit bonus promotions that often reward single night stays over multiple night stays.

    This works for me because I don’t ever stay in hotels for work, so I would struggle to achieve bonuses like Accelerate and the current Hilton promotion otherwise, I love hiking and the great outdoors (and would always choose a NP as an end destination above a city break), and my boyfriend would NEVER agree to the inconvenience of hotel hopping around within a city purely in order to satisfy hotel promotional targets, but will happily do it if it means the convenience of being able to relax in a hotel quickly after a flight, then completing the journey to our chosen spectacularly beautiful destination the next day.

    Is this something that other people do at all? Is it worth sharing recommendations of chain hotels that exist close to stunning landscapes? I’m always looking for new options!

    • Pangolin says:

      I have a similar approach – although I don’t necessarily always head out to a national park I do like to get out of big cities for a wander and I focus more on earning status through stays than nights. I have to be cost effective as I’m a freelancer.

      This year I aim to maintain SPG Plat with 25 stays and I find that’s doable as I also like to take weekend breaks. I also do longer stays when I have a proper holiday but I prefer to use points for these or 5th night free, etc., to limit the cash spend.

      Next year the SPG program will merge with Marriott Rewards and it looks like there’ll be no way of maintaining Plat status – it will probably be at least 50 nights and more likely 75 as that’s what you need in MR currently. Those numbers are never going to be practical for me.

      It’s much easier to find chain hotels in/near NPs in the US than it is in Europe:

      • Agreed, although if you’re willing to settle for somewhere that’s stunning (but not a NP), it gets easier.

        Recommendations for easy trips within Europe:

        Dresden for Saxon Switzerland NP (Google Bastei bridge for an idea of how stunning it is!)
        Milan Malpensa (stay at an airport hotel) for Lake Maggiore (or really any of the Italian lakes if you drive)
        Geneva for Lake Geneva, hiking around Mont-Blanc (or up it if you’re hardcore) – an alternative and cheaper base is the Hilton at Evian, which has a fab Spa and a nice Exec lounge
        Grenoble – the Novotel Grenoble Nord Voreppe is less than 2km from a train station, and is in a valley between 2 Parc Naturel’s
        Antalya (well – part of Turkey’s in Europe…) – there are 2 IHG hotels there, and the coastline West of the city is stunning, as well as there being a ton of hikes in the mountains nearby, including to the ruins of Termessos
        Bordeaux – do a few boozy hikes between stays at the Intercontinental
        Costa Smerelda in Sardinia – there’s a Sofitel and various SPG hotels, then make your way to Cala Gonone and then do hikes along the Golfo of Orosei
        Madrid – many hotels to choose from, then head into the Picos de Europa for some lovely hiking and kayaking opportunities
        Dubrovnik – stay at the Hilton and use it as a base for a bit of island hopping, plus you can hike up Mount Srd from the city
        Madeira – there’s a Melia there, and 2500km of levada to hike…

        Please reply with your own recommendations!

    • RussellH says:

      Having sold both walking and cycling trips to Saxon Switzerland in my past life (IIRC it was the second area in the east that I offered starting in the mid 1990s,with the Harz being the first) I am curious to know where you stayed. For anyone who does not know the area it is stunning. Public transport from Dresden ios excellent – if you avoid the Inter City services to Prague and beyond (every other hour) you can use a day rover on the local trains, Dresden trams and buses, other buses and some of the ferries across the Elbe. Dĕčin, just across the border in the Czech Republic, is very doable as a day trip from Desden, or anywhere else in the Elbe Valley. There is a great walk from south of Bad Schandau to a fabulous rock arch, the Pravčicka Brána, too – used to be a popular day out from Dresden before 1914.

      Other destinations that I used to sell:

      Munich -> Garmisch and Füssen, as well as the pre-Alpine Lakes.

      Cologne or Frankfurt -> the middle Rhine Gorge – walking routes such as the Rhine Castles Way and the Rheinsteig

      Strasbourg -> Vosges. You can combine wine and hillwalking.

      Cologne (again) -> Eifel

      Hannover -> Harz

      Bruxelles or Luxembourg -> Ardennes – some fabulous food as well as great walking.

      Basel -> southern Black Forest or the Vosges (again).

      And, although I did not sell Switzerland, Zürich for loads of alpine places to the south.

      I could go on…

      • Please do…

        Some brilliant ideas there – thanks Russell!

        • RussellH says:

          OK – since you ask!!
          A bit further away from Dresden is Oberlausitz (Upper Lusatia), which fits in the corner where Germany, Poland and Czech Republic meet.

          North east from Munich (you can get a bus from the airport to Freising and then a train through) is Passau. From there walk high above the Danube Valley along the Donausteig (I sold this as the Danube Heights) to Linz (I do not know if Ryanair still serve the airport there) which has / had a Courtyard/Marriott and frequent fast trains to Vienna.

          Between Stuttgart and Zürich is the Schwäbische Alb (spelled with a b); fantastic limestone country with some great castles and distinctive food, which I like, though may not be to everyone’s taste. Home to the largest regional walking club in Germany.

          North of Stuttgart you can follow the Neckarsteig (Neckar Heights) to Heidelberg – arguably better countryside than the Rhine, and almost certainly even more castles.

          I am still learning about Italy, but since Verona is a popular start for skiers, it should be as good for walking in the Dolomites. And a friend spent a week walking to the north of Turin last year.

  3. OT does anyone pay Thames Water via a Paypoint?
    I am currently paying via DD but pondering whether to go Paypoint. Is it possible to pay a few months in advance? I don’t fancy going to the Co-op to pay £30 a month but say £90 a quarter would be worth the hassle.

    • I do. They give you a paypoint card and you can top it up whatever amount you like.

    • Genghis says:

      I do. I pay six months and then six months

    • Great thanks will do that.

      • Genghis says:

        I sometimes also pay it all when needing to hit a sign up bonus given any TVM rate I applied to future cash flows would be v low. Also possibility to overpay a bit and get cash refunded but TW have a proper refunds review control in place unlike some co’s I know…

  4. Just tried to book MAN-LCY one way, and receive two errors that:
    BAMAN15 may not be used when flying to this arrival point
    BAMAN15 may not be applied to journeys containing this number of flights

    A return removes the error for number of flights.
    Seems that the offer is return only, with LCY excluded.

  5. Graham Walsh says:

    I’ve found he WiFi very useful at various airports where they charge or means I can get premium access and carry on with working doing video calls.

  6. It’s a shame there isn’t any back to back chances from MAN with the code! Would be a decent day out otherwise.

  7. Been out of touch during the week but are we still expecting some news from Amex?

  8. OT, how long has the £200 amex travel credit been taking to post to account? Its been 7 days here and no credit as yet, need to cancel my platinum before Tues!

  9. Sorry this has probably been covered before but can you tell me if Platinum amex holders can refer themselves for BAPP card and pocket 18k membership reward referral bonus? I know it says ‘ refer friends and family’. Thanks!

    • Andrew M says:

      Put it this way. It doesn’t hurt to try – I have given it a go, and I have no regrets over the outcome!

      • I think there is enough to fill an article here.

        Everything has changed so much, I have no idea which card I should use to refer to which card. For example it sounds like if you have a free blue BA card and a platinum charge card and you are referring someone for the BAPP card, you should use the platinum charge card. I bet many people would use the BA card instead.

        Anyway – just an idea.

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